Describe the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the business
Strategic Analysis (SWOT Analysis)
Prior to the acceptance of mission and vision statements, we recommend the conduct of a strategic analysis to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT)
A frequent complaint about strategic plans is that they are merely “to-do” lists of what to accomplish over the next few years. These complaints arise because organizations fail to conduct a thorough strategic analysis as part of their strategic concerning resources, programs, and organization in key areas.
Internally strengths and weaknesses relate to matters concerning resources, programs, and organization in key areas. These include:
- Sales – marketing – distribution – promotion – support;
- Management – systems – expertise – resources;
- Operations – efficiency – capacity – processes;
- Products – services – quality – pricing – features – range – competitiveness;
- Finances – resources – performance;
- R&D – effort – direction – resources;
- Costs – productivity – purchasing;
- Systems – organization – structures.
The objective is to build up a picture of the outstanding good and bad points, achievements and failures and other critical features within the company.
Externally threats & opportunities can exist or develop in the following areas:
- The company’s own industry where structural changes may be occurring
(Size and segmentation; growth patterns and maturity; established patterns and relationships, emergence/contraction of niches; international dimensions; relative attractiveness of segments)
- The marketplace which may be altering due to economic or social factors (Customers; distribution channels; economic factors, social/demographic issues; political & environmental factors)
- Competition which may be creating new threats or opportunities
(Identities, performances, market shares, likely plans, aggressiveness, strengths & weaknesses)
- New technologies that may be causing fundamental changes in products, processes, etc.
(Substitute products, alternative solutions, shifting channels, cost savings etc.)